JUNE 25, 2019
NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday treated the Congress as his punching bag in the Lok Sabha during his reply to a discussion in Lok Sabha, rebutting criticism that his government had attempted to corner credit for India’s development and belittled his predecessors.
“I may be the only prime minister to have said, from the ramparts of Red Fort, that all governments at the centre and the states have played a role. I have said the same in this house also,” PM Modi said. Then, he went on to hurl stinging darts at the Congress, accusing the party of having ignored the contribution of not just leaders from other parties such as Atal Behari Vajpayee but also its own.
PM Modi named former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh as two examples, wondering why Congress leaders did not name either of them when they spoke about achievements of Congress governments.
“In this Lok Sabha debate, the same people did not even speak of Manmohan Singhji… Because people outside the family don’t get anything (credit),” PM Modi said, responding to a discussion in the Lok Sabha that mirrored the acrimonious campaign during the recent national elections.
PM Modi said he didn’t like making this point but was forced by Congress leaders who accused him of cornering credit for himself. “Thus far and no further,” he said breaking into English, warning the Congress to stop this campaign.
The Congress that led the opposition assault against the ruling BJP-led national coalition in the early part of the debate had alleged the government was “driven by manipulation”, called PM Modi “a big salesman” and attributed the BJP’s stunning victory in the Lok Sabha elections only to its ability to sell its product well.
The BJP, on the other hand, had hammered the opposition for building a “false narrative” in the run-up to the elections; its first speaker a first-time MP from Odisha had asked why the opposition was reluctant to praise PM Modi.
The tone and substance of the discussion – the first in the life of the 17th Lok Sabha – is seen as an indication that politics would continue be severely polarised and parties are already looking at future elections with an eye on key social constituencies.
That bitterness was reflected on Tuesday as well as Lok Sabha resumed the discussion on the motion of thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind for his address to the joint sitting of Parliament.
BJP’s Dilip Ghosh, who is leading the party’s offensive in West Bengal, accused the Mamata Banerjee government of trying to create a “West Bangladesh” by allowing infiltrators from Bangladesh to settle in Bengal. The DMK, in turn, similarly slammed the AIADMK government back home in Tamil Nadu.
Courtesy/Source: Hindustan Times